Furman Men, Women Tabbed Cross Country Favorites
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 08/29/2017
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Courtesy: Southern Conference

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the fourth straight year, the Furman men’s and women’s cross country teams were selected as the preseason favorites to take the Southern Conference titles, as voted by all 10 of the league’s coaches. The Paladins are the four-time reigning SoCon champions on both the men’s and women’s sides and earned the maximum possible first-place votes in both polls. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

Returning runner of the year Frank Lara will pace the Paladins in 2017 after winning the men’s 8k race at the 2016 SoCon Cross Country Championships. Furman had six men finish in the top 10 in the 8k race and seven women placed in the top 10 in the 5k race.

In the men’s poll, Samford received 69 points to place second, while ETSU followed closely behind with 65 points and the remaining first-place vote for the third spot. VMI checks in fourth with 59 points, followed by Chattanooga with 45 points and Wofford with 38. Western Carolina (35), UNCG (26), The Citadel (21) and Mercer (11) round out slots 7-10, respectively.

Samford was voted second in the women’s poll with 72 points, followed by ETSU, who received 63 votes and the remaining first-place vote. Chattanooga is slotted fourth with 55 points, while Wofford placed fifth with 46 points. Rounding out the poll on the women’s side are UNCG (41), Western Carolina (33), VMI (31), Mercer (19) and The Citadel (9).

Six of the 10 teams will kick off their seasons on Friday, Sept. 1, while the remaining four SoCon squads will open up the season on Saturday, Sept. 2. For the 2017 SoCon men’s cross country composite schedule, click here; for the women’s composite schedule, click here.

The 2017 SoCon Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Wofford and are slated for Saturday, Oct. 28, in Spartanburg, S.C.

2017 Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll

  1. Furman (9) 81
  2. Samford 69
  3. ETSU (1) 65
  4. VMI 59
  5. Chattanooga 45
  6. Wofford 38
  7. Western Carolina 35
  8. UNCG 26
  9. The Citadel 21
  10. Mercer 11

2017 Women’s Cross Country Preseason Poll

  1. Furman (9) 81
  2. Samford 72
  3. ETSU (1) 63
  4. Chattanooga 55
  5. Wofford 46
  6. UNCG 41
  7. Western Carolina 33
  8. VMI 31
  9. Mercer 19
  10. The Citadel  9

() denotes first-place votes

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